Arusha, Tanzania: More than 20 people are feared dead after rainfall triggered the collapse of an escarpment above a murram mine site at Mushono in Arusha Region.
Eye witnesses said heavy rains have been going on at the area in the past few days.The acting regional police commander, Mr Hemed Kilonge, told The Citizen that the accident occurred yesterday at around 11am.
He said more than 20 people and two lorries were covered by heavy stones and mud at the time quarrying activities were going on. “The escarpment collapsed and covered both people and vehicles,” said the acting RPC.
The murram was being mined for use in road and building projects currently under construction in Arusha Municipality.
He added that his office in collaboration with Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) and other wananchi were cooperating to retrieve bodies from the area. The Citizen witnessed a score of TPDF soldiers, police officers and ordinary wananchi hard at the rescue work.
Soldiers from 977 KJ and Sopa from Monduli military academy were deployed for the purpose. By the time of going to press, at least 14 bodies had been retrieved from the collapsed mining site.
The acting RPC named the dead as including Alex Mariaki, Gerald Lukataka and Hassan Khamis. Others were Sauli Rafael, Bariki Revelian, Kababuu Rwafela and Mwenda Kiboboli.
The others who perished include Japhet Jivaline, Bernard Masai, Gerald Jacob, Julius Kalanjo, Fredy Revelian, Julius Peter (lorry owner) and another man who was identified by just one name as Christopher.
The Arusha Member of Parliament, Mr Godbless Lema (Chadema) said the incident has saddened Arusha residents and Tanzanians in general and asked the government to put plans in place that would give security guidelines in mining and construction sites.
This is after the collapse of a 16 story building on Good Friday.
Please lift the families of those listed as killed. They will need the Arms of the Father to wrap around them.
With a heavy heart,